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I don’t know if there’s a better way to engage kids in reading than getting them to laugh. The girl loves all kinds of books, but some of her favorites are the ones that are really funny.
The other night before bed she said she “needed to laugh,” which got me thinking about our go-to books for guaranteed grins. Here are some of our favorite books/series to put a smile on a kid’s (and a grown up’s) face.
Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
The one she picked when she needed a laugh was Interrupting Chicken, the tale of a rooster who’s just trying to get his kid to go to sleep and a little chicken who just wants to help everyone in the stories.
She’s always interrupting and keeping the characters from doing what they’re supposed to do that might get them into trouble.
It’s really cute and especially good if your child has interrupting chicken tendencies.
This one won a Caldecott Honorable Mention in 2011. Candlewick Press has a PDF of story hour activities if you want to read this one with a group, or check out the cute cardboard roll chickens and writing activities for older kids from First Grade Teacher Lady.
The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak
If you want to guarantee howling laughter from any kid you know, read The Book with No Pictures. The idea behind the book is that the person reading a book has to read all the words, so this is a book that makes the adult say really silly things.
You’ll call yourself a monkey, declare your best friend is a hippo named Boo-Boo Butt and make all sorts of crazy sounds.
If you don’t know this one, check out the video. It’s awesome.
Skippyjon Jones series by Judy Schachner
The girl recently got into Skippyjon Jones, the series of books about a cat who thinks he’s a chihauaha and goes on lots of big adventures in his closet.
It’s hard to resist books with songs in them (all sung to the tune of “The Mexican Hat Dance”) with random bits of Spanish and silly expressions like “Holy hairballs” and “faster than you can say Don Diego’s dominoes.”
She likes all of them but her particular favorites right now are Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones (where he goes back in time and kills off the dinosaurs with his horrible breath) and Skippyjon Jones Lost in Spice (where he travels to Mars to collect the red spice).
We also just got the latest one, Skippyjon Jones Snow What, a silly retelling of Snow White in which the kitty boy (gasp!) has to wear tights.
Ruffles and Rainboots had an amazing day of fun learning around Skippyjon, and check out the fun Skippyjon art project at SmART Class (scroll down a bit in this post). There’s some really cute coloring pages and other printables on the Skippyjon Jones website, too.
The Pigeon Needs a Bath!, or Anything by Mo Willems
All of the Pigeon books (and the Elephant and Piggie books, and all the others) are fun, but right now we’re enjoying The Pigeon Needs a Bath!, a title which is pretty self-explanatory.
The Pigeon declares that bathing is overrated and he’s not actually that stinky (as flies flee the scene), then finally gets in the tub and never wants to leave.
It’s funny because we’ve probably all had this conversation with our kids, and Pigeon is always over the top in his dramatics.
Check out this fun PDF activity pack celebrating 10 years of Pigeon, and for tons more Mo Willems-inspired crafts and activities, visit the Virtual Summer Reading Club link up at the Educator’s Spin on It.
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
The Day the Crayons Quit is my addition to the list because it always makes me smile, but the girl likes it, too. One day a boy sits down to color and instead of finding his crayons, he finds a series of letters airing the grievances of the drawing devices.
Pink is feeling unappreciated because she never gets used. Blue is worn down to a tiny stub because he’s the boy’s favorite color. Beige doesn’t want to be called light brown. Peach is naked. And so on.
Peace, Love, Learning has a cute page to go with this one, where kids can write letters to their own crayons telling them what they need that color to draw. (Scroll down and click on the picture to open a Google Doc.)
What books make your kids laugh out loud? What are you enjoying these days? I’d love to know!
LOL! Loved this article!!! I need to get the BJ Novak and the David Ezra Stein from the library. And thanks for correcting my assumption that only boys like these slapstick kind of funny books. Haha!
My girl is way silly. 🙂 I think you’ll like them.